1st May 2024

5 Day Entries for the Gamble Norfolk National Race Day

TRAINER WILLIAMS MAKES FAKENHAM’S NORFOLK NATIONAL A REAL TARGET

New sponsors Gamble Plant will be delighted with the 14 initial entries for Fakenham Racecourse’s Norfolk National Chase over a stamina-sapping three miles and five furlongs on Tuesday (May 7).

Gamble Plant are the new backers of the £25,000 race, taking over from Snellings, and they will be hoping most of those 14 entries stand their ground for the 4.20pm feature event, one of the highlights of the Fakenham racing calendar.

Four of those entries are from the Bridgend stable of Christian Williams. The trainer is a frequent visitor to Fakenham and his Jony Max is one of his quartet of possible runners. Jony Max was runner-up in the race last year, beaten by the David Pipe trained Duc Du Beauchene,

Williams also has Cap Du Nord, winner of eight of his 48 careers starts over fences, Planned Paradise, fifth at Haydock in February, and Strictlyadancer, seventh at Kempton in March.

The race is the main contest on a six-race card, the penultimate meeting of Fakenham’s 2023/24 season.

Racing starts at 2.15pm with the Racing TV Selling Handicap Hurdle which has seen entries from two former course and distance winners in Neil King’s State of Bliss, successful last June, and Swinging London, trained by John Mackie, who won at the north Norfolk venue back in February 2022, the gelding’s only success in 26 career starts.

Top trainers Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson have entries in the 2.45pm Mares’ Maiden Hurdle with Seeyouinmydreams and By The Grace respectively with newly-crowned champion jockey Harry Cobden and Nico De Boinville booked to ride.

Elpologrey won at Fakenham in February and the Seamus Mullins five-year-old could return for the 3.15pm Greene King Handicap Chase. Also among the entries are Michael Chapman’s Fast Deal, a recent Stratford winner, and Kings Justice, Sam Allwood’s runner a Hereford runner-up last month.

Biggest entry is that of 20 for the 3.45pm Jarrold Ladies Day Sunday June 2 Novice Hurdle. They include Nicholls and Cobden with Soir De Gala, third at Exeter after a Taunton success, Tip Top Tonto, a winner at Fakenham’s last meeting and Jolyjump, Gary Moore’s April Taunton scorer with Caoilin Quinn booked to ride.

After the running of the Gamble Plant Norfolk National, the meeting ends with the 4.55pm Jumping for Fun Grassroots Maiden Hunter Chase for the Turner Trophy, in which point-to-point winners Loughan, Trevada and Court Cian all look to have good chances.

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David Hunter